Toy Story

What do you say? Could a Toy Story equivalent be made using Blender, as it is now? What I mean by equivalent is a movie that, graphically speaking, is as sophisticated as Toy Story was. I don’t know if anyone can answer this. My gut feeling is “yes”, but I’m no expert.

Bear in mind that I’m totally aware that making a production like that requires a huge amount of manpower and processing time, regardless of the software used, and I’m not asking this in the hope of creating my own 3D feature, nor I’m looking to propose the producing of one by forum members, so relax :cool:.

It is just that I’d like to have a hard fact about Blender’s capabilities to help me promote it. I’m not trying to say “use Blender and make movies like the pros”, rather, the point I’m trying to make is that Blender can do much more than your average use could hope to accomplish, regardless of software.

Well Have you seen ED? (Elephants Dream) yet again have you been catching up with the latest on the next short movie? Basically, when toy story was made in 1995 everything in 3D was quite basic compared to todays standards. It also being Pixar’s first feature-length production.
And Blender has been able to push out higher quality work than that especially of late. So I would be safe to say, “Yes” blender is capable of doing a similar project these days.

Just what is important is the staff, story and commitment of the creators that makes a movie what it is.

I think Blender can do a lot better than Toy Story. It has lots of capabilities, and with a little trickery you can do almost anything, without taking in account the computing power required for it, of course.

Think of it, Non destructive skinning, subsurf scattering, ratraced soft shadows, Open Ex rendering, Sculpt mode and MultiRes, lots of texturing capabilities and Node Editor, Fur and Hair. My opinion is that you can do everything you want to if you can get the way around it. Huge commercial programs may have some super high end features that may be quite time saving, but recently Blender has really been pushing its own limits.

I would say that blender can perfectly be at a Monsters INC level. And if 2.5 comes with cloth simulation I think you could reach a Shrek level.

The only drawback I can think of is the 100% CPU rendering, it would be great if Blender had some GPU open GL rendering features, that would increase rendering speed a lot.

Have you seen the statistics of Toy Story? On their renderfarm back then it took an average of 6 hours to render just one frame, and some frames took 15 hours to render.

Monster Inc. stats: Every scene where Sully is present took over 12 hours to render. Sully had 1.2 million hairs if I’m not mistaken. According to @ndy, on his Peach workstation with 8 cores and 8 Gb, rendering 5 million strands took a couple of minutes.

There is a lot of essential things though that Blender is missing from Renderman (shading language, micropoly etc…). But suppose that Hollywood studio decides to recreate the Pixar movies with Blender, I think they can pull it of easily.

If there was a script good enough and a team large enough to work on a feature length animation (20 people?) then blender could quite easily be used for a production like Toy Story.

Have you seen any of the footage of plumifor? It is a feature length animation movie done with blender!

“Plumíferos”. Yes. I’ve seen it, it looks great, but not pixar level(which would be an unfair comparison anyway, since those pixar guys have the big $$$)

Ok, I’m glad to know Toy Story could be made, but Monsters Inc? really?

Also, how informed would you say that appreciation is? Can anyone tell, for sure, the Pixar movies that could be done, nowadays, using Blender?

Easily done. Blender has everything needed (look at elephants dream, the siggraph demo reels, old examples on blender.org). Toy Story is an old movie, and used the best in 3d at the time, but now and xbox can render the same amount of poly’s that toy story used. In real time. Of course, with any movie, the real skill isn’t in stats but in being able to make a good story and good artwork.

Just think of this, in order to make a movie you need, first and most important of all, an IDEA, then you choose the tools that will help you achieve the results that you want. Nowadays, 3D tools are all about workflow and time saving features, but they all can achieve similar results, and I’m including Blender in here. It’s just a matter of time, money and the ability to make your way around problems.

Then you need characters (Blender has amazing features for modeling, rigging, texturing and animating character), and you need lighting (there are lots of things you can do without the need of having Renderman or MentalRay, it all depends on how good you are for solving poblems and finding tricky but effective solutions.). You must remember that in 3D animation everything is about faking things, so you don’t really need to have a super realistic huge rendering engine. Take a look at Shrek 1, the guys from Dreamworks couldn’t afford using indirect lighting, so they faked it all with precise direct lighting design. Just as you would do it inside of Blender.

And finally, you need rendering power (if you have the money), or a lot of time to spend rendering with just one computer (if you don’t have money).

That’s my opinion. The Pixar guys have a lot of money, and they have strict deadlines, so they rely on rendering power. If you are a Blender User, like the Plumiferos guys, you don’t have money, you don’t have much rendering power, so you have to think how to solve things the best way possible but spending the less amount of resources that you can.

I’m not comparing Plumiferos movie quality with Pixar, there’s a BIG $$$$$$$ difference, but take a look at Elephant Dreams image quality, or the new Peach projects Fur renders, and you’ll see that Blender is technologically capable of achieving Pixar quality level results. You just need money, workflow intelligence and time.

I think blender is more than capable of creating movies like Toy Story and Monsters Inc., especially with the recent particle advancements. I wouldn’t be surprised if new (high budget) animations studios started using blender as an alternative simply because it frees up the resources spent on commercial products to go toward more employees or other endeavors. Blender is already at the level to compete with the big-name packages in terms of children’s movies because usually they dont require more features than what blender already has.

I think most of the Toy Story stuff can be done in Blender…however I don’t know how to make a spring dog like Woody’s best friend…

The Spring Dog could be done through python scripting, though I don’t know anything outside the BGE API